The Absolute Best Sneaker For You

PHOTOGRAPHED BY AMELIA ALPAUGH.
Deciding what to wear is tough. Choosing shoes for your next workout is even tougher. You have to ask yourself: How will it perform? What will work best for my sport? What kind of support do I really need? We all want to invest in pieces that offer versatility, style, and function. That’s why Refinery29 and fitness fashion expert Bianca Jade of Mizzfit.com teamed up to bring you these 10 perfect picks. Each pair will help you power through your next sweat session — and look good while you’re at it. With chic kicks like these, working out will be anything but boring.
1 of 10
Great for: Outdoor bootcamps, running, and parkour
Puma’s pastel sneaker proves once and for all that running shoes can be pretty and functional. Jade commends the "spring and support in the sole, which is good for runners... Heel- and mid-foot-strikers will get lots of benefit and protection from it.” She recommends these for outdoor bootcamps, running, and parkour.
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2 of 10
Great for: Cycling and running
Pearl Izumi’s bright, highlighter-pink shoe is ideal for cycling or running, suggests Jade. Plus, these kicks are light enough so you can put the pedal to the metal during spin class — if you haven't quite upgraded to clip-ins, that is.
3 of 10
Great for: Trail running
Outdoor enthusiast? This turquoise pair from North Face will help your feet handle whatever nature throws at them. Jade praises this shoe for its traction and lateral side support — important qualities that will protect you on uneven terrain. It’s also coated in Gore-Tex to keep you dry when you run through puddles. Plus, it's pretty. “Cute trail-running shoes are hard to come by,” Jade says.
4 of 10
Great for: Yoga, Pilates, Megaformer, and dance
This three-part pack from Nike (complete with elegant ribbon) is ideal for yoga, Pilates, Megaformer, or even the dance classes that inform its balletic aesthetic. “This is great for the germaphobe who doesn’t like to go barefoot,” says Jade. “It's the next level up from toeless socks.” Bonus: If you're newly tattooed, consider wearing these as a way to protect your ink, Jade suggests.
5 of 10
Great for: Dance, low-impact cardio, and Tabata
“A little bit of support, but a lot of style,” says Jade of these vibrant red kicks. “The Rio Soul shoe is kind of like your versatile, casual, minimalist shoe. It’s really great for leisurely walking or travel.” When you’re not fulfilling your wanderlust, wear these for dance class, low-impact cardio, or the growing-in-popularity Tabata workout.
6 of 10
Great for: Jumping rope, dance cardio, and jogging
If you like your shoes to be light and strong, consider this pair from Under Armour: “It’s probably the most supportive of the lightweight, minimalist shoes I’ve tried,” says Jade. “Super-light, slim, and barely-there.” Jade cautions against wearing these during long-distance runs, but they're ideal for jumping rope, dance cardio, or jogging. As an added bonus, the shoe's perforated holes will let your feet breathe even during super-sweaty workouts.
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7 of 10
Great for: Running
Runners, take note: Your feet may have just met their perfect match. “It’s not a minimalist shoe, but it’s not a shoe that makes your foot feel encased. It’s right in the middle, which runners love,” says Jade. These shoes will give you enough support without making you feel weighed down or “trapped," so lace 'em up before your next endurance run or sprint session.
8 of 10
Great for: Mud runs and triathlons
“This is great for...having to transition from bike to swim,” Jade says. The shoe’s draining system and perforated sock-liner make it ideal during sweaty or wet runs. Wear these versatile sneakers during triathlons, tri-sprints, or mud runs. Plus, the straight-from-the-'80s neon colors will make you easy to spot!
9 of 10
Great for: Boating, beach-running, and beach volleyball
Don this pair from ECCO the next time you’re boating, beach-running, playing beach volleyball, or trying to impress another sporty water-lover. These are designed to let water flow in and out without keeping your feet soggy, providing “the familiarity of a sneaker without feeling like a swim sock,” says Jade. She also commended their performance: “The shoes mold to your feet."
10 of 10
Great for: Everyday exercise, group classes, and treadmill time
“This is a cross-trainer that looks more like a fashion sneaker than a fitness shoe. And, that’s the beauty of it. These look cool with your leather leggings or your Spandex,” says Jade. The colorful fabric gives it a casual feel that doesn’t scream "workout wear." The cushioning makes it perfect for everyday exercise, group classes, and sprints on the treadmill.
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